home is Cottonwood, Arizona, 1976-1987
it's still a part of Sedona,
chunks of Jerome, old-town
and the High School.
the grade school is a museum now.
the core is still there,
1557 Bates road.
I panic when they talk of selling,
the one cord tying me to the earth
I covet tokens -
a pecan sapling from the neighbor tree we collected from
since I was 7, cuttings to root from the centennial Cottonwoods that lined the river.
A fire in Oak Creek breaks my heart.
A fire in the Santa Monica mountains has me packing the car.
My ties, my heart, my loyalty,
are not here.
copyright Lee Gaither 2006